New Headlight Law for Massachusetts

On April 7, 2015 a new law into effect for the State of Massachusetts. This will affect everyone who plans on driving in the state. The new law sets requirements for when you have to turn on your headlights, and failure to follow the new rules can result in a ticket!

New Requirements in Massachusetts

New Headlight Law, TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MA

The major stumbling block for most in the new law is that whenever you make use of your vehicle’s wipers, you have to also turn on your headlights. While for many this is common sense, there are circumstance where most of us might not normally follow it: such as when it’s sunny outside, but also raining. There are some additional hard rules for when to turn on your headlights, including a half an hour after sunset, an hour before sunrise, and weather conditions that would reduce visibility, such as fog and snow.

Violating This New Law

Failure to follow these new laws can result in you getting pulled over and getting cited. While the cost of the ticket amount is low—only 5 dollars—the ticket does count as a minor surcharge traffic violation. Surcharges such as these will follow you around, and increase the cost of your insurance premiums the next time you renew, which means that $5 can end up costing you a lot more.

The Full General Law

From Section 15, Chapter 85 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is as follows:

Every vehicle, whether stationary or in motion, on any public way, shall have attached to it a light or lights which shall be so displayed as to be visible from the front and the rear during the period from one half an hour after sunset to one half an hour before sunrise; provided, that this section shall not apply to any vehicle which is designed to be propelled by hand; and provided, further, that any vehicle carrying hay or straw for the purpose of transporting persons on a hayride, so called, shall display only electrically operated lights which shall be two flashing amber lights to the front and two flashing red lights to the rear, each of said lights to be at least six inches in diameter and mounted six feet from the ground. Upon the written application of the owner of a vehicle and the presentation of reasons therefor the department may, in writing, in such form and subject to such requirements as it may elect, and without expense to the applicant, exempt said vehicle from the provisions of this section for such period of time as said department may elect.

This new law, while increasing visibility and safety, can lead to headaches while we all adapt. As a rule of thumb, whenever you reach to turn on the wipers, flick on the headlights as well. If you’re curious about this new traffic law, or how it will affect your insurance premiums, please contact the TJ Woods Insurance Agency. We’ll help you understand the laws special to Massachusetts and if you’re getting the most out of your car insurance.